AKEL is participating in today’s event organised by a number of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organisations to support the opening of more checkpoints that will further facilitate contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
We stress that the opening of checkpoints does not constitute the solution to the Cyprus problem. The existing problems will be radically solved through the solution of the Cyprus problem. A solution within the framework of a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation with political equality as defined by the Resolutions of the United Nations, but until a solution is reached, measures and initiatives must be taken that will help build trust between the two communities and at the same time send out the message about the need to reach a solution.
At the meeting of the National Council that convened recently, AKEL had requested that it present a package of proposals to the President of the Republic to help the Republic of Cyprus address in a more substantial and clear way sending specific messages to the Turkish Cypriot community that Turkish Cypriots are regarded as an integral part of the Cypriot people and that we want and seek to strengthen relations between the two communities.
We of course remain firm in struggling to realise our unwavering goal of a solution to the Cyprus problem. We have prepared this package of measures and sent it to the President a few days ago. In the next few days we shall make it public. We believe that these measures we are proposing will indeed upgrade the contribution of the Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish Cypriot community and help rekindle the hope to achieve a solution, because the Turkish Cypriot community is suffering under the suffocating embrace of Turkey. A large section of the community no longer believes in a solution to the Cyprus problem.
That is precisely why we need to rekindle both the hope and the prospect of a solution, as well as to strengthen the trust between the two communities. We consider it politically necessary, which is precisely why we have prepared and sent this package of proposals to the President.
● The General Secretary of AKEL gave the following reply to a journalist’s question on the package of proposals:
For example, we propose the establishment of an Office for Turkish Cypriot Affairs, so that Turkish Cypriots can address it so as to promote issues of concern to them or to have their cases examined by the Civil Service, with a number of other measures to strengthen the functioning of this Office.
We propose the creation of a fund to support and sponsor bi-communal initiatives with the aim of addressing a basic problem that organisations and movements seeking to develop policies promoting rapprochement and contacts with the Turkish Cypriot community face, namely securing financial support and finding financial resources.
We also have proposed a number of measures, including the expansion of the ‘Green Line’ Regulation, which regulates the movement of people, services and products. It’s something that the European Union is discussing, and asking for. We therefore consider it important for the Republic of Cyprus to take the initiative. We can be the ones making decisions, rather than letting others decide for us.
We are also proposing numerous measures both in the field of health and education, as well as society in general, which have developed through the dialogue and contacts that we have had with Turkish Cypriot organised groups. These proposals aim to resolve long-standing problems that exist in the relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. They certainly facilitate contacts, but also send strong messages, as I said earlier, on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus that we want to build trust and find a solution of the Cyprus problem.

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